Crystal Lake Memories: The Complete History of Friday the 13th (2013)

For folks like me who grew up watching the “Friday the 13th” franchise over and over, this nearly-seven hour documentary is a childhood dream come true. Going over each entry in the series, from 1980’s “Friday the 13th” to the 2009 remake with a fine tooth comb, director Daniel Farrands leaves virtually no stone unturned (up to and including the infamous 1987 television series adaptation). From the individual directors to actors to producers to writers, it seems like everyone who played a major role in the creation of any entry is interviewed at length, and each is engaging and perceptive about their experiences in the series. It’s basically an IMDb trivia section come to life, only even better because all the anecdotes are coming straight from the source, which crystallizes the experience. It’s also nice that the movie avoids the treacly and shallow worship of Jason Voorhees that unfortunately turned 2009’s “His Name Was Jason: 30 Years of Friday the 13th” into a tiresome, platitudinous bore – here, the participants cogently articulate their appreciation of Jason (whether it’s via the stunt work, the makeup effects, biographical lore, etc), and successfully bring compelling insight to the topic. Add in a respectable narration by returning series star Corey Feldman, and the finished product is an immensely satisfying, entertaining way to celebrate one of horror’s most enduring franchises.

Rating: ★★★★ (out of 5)

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